How to make your students be the active listeners in your class?
Those who are in the teaching profession know how disheartening and demotivating can be the situations in which you want to deliver a very important message and your students just do not listen. You may try your best to explain how important the information is however, your efforts are not always as successful as you expect. Let’s delve into the topic further and try finding a solution to such demoralizing situations in the classroom.
Things that annoy and upset teachers in the classroom
Every teacher has his own list of patterns in the students’ behavior that they do not like. For some teachers, being late for their lecture is unforgivable. Some do not like if students make too much noise and behave disruptively. Others may feel upset if a student walks out of the classroom to visit lavatory for half an hour. However, one of the most popular complaints of teachers is that students do not actively listen to what is being said. Can this issue be solved? How can you improve your mentoring and speaking behavior to make sure that your students listen to you and get the most of what you are saying?
Ban your habit of repeating
When the students know that the information will be repeated numerous times during the lesson, they do not bother to listen and memorize the material. By repeating what you are saying many times you prevent students from effective learning. It might be a complicated task to change your habit to explain the same subject over and over again, but the results might be worth it. If students know that you will give them information once only, they will make sure that nothing important is missed.
Be a role model
If you can master the art of listening by yourself, it might be easier to teach others to listen. Do yourself a favor and check your own behavior when you are communicating. Are you an attentive listener? Do you ever interrupt? How quickly you speak? What is your body language saying to the person you talk to? By your own example, you need to show students how to listen to the speaker attentively. Give a student your full attention, do not interrupt and make an eye contact. Even with your body posture, you can show the person who speaks that you are interested and respect his point of view.
Actively help students develop a new skill
If you decided to improve the listening skill of your students, just being a role model might not be sufficient. Active implementation of new behavior patterns will also be required for the success of your change plan. Besides teaching your professional subject, you need to make an effort to cultivate new habit so that the subject that you teach is thoroughly learned. Students need to know when to pause and avoid multitasking for better perception of new information. You need to make sure that they know how to make an eye contact and show with their body posture that they are engaged. One of the effective stages in the learning process of your class must be a paraphrasing strategy. Asking a listener to repeat your message with their own words will help understand whether the information that you are trying to convey is understood. This will also help students to think through the material and, as a result, remember the essential facts.
If you made a decision to improve listening capability of your students, be prepared that the process will take some time and effort. Active and effective listening ability is a skill, and, like any other skill, it needs time to be cultivated. Patience and reinforcing the useful habit every day is what can make your teaching fruitful and your students more knowledgeable.